Black Sand Drift Review, I don’t fully know how to describe what I experienced, I activated it on Steam after seeing a trailer and what I saw wasn’t what I had expected.

Story

Five planets of the Kotiro galaxy have been struggling for over 300 years under the power of maniacal, they are described as, ‘mechanical bots’ called Spiral.  The mechs ravage the planets for all resources and the heroes must fight back to regain control of their home planets.  The story is told to us via text bubbles from the characters in-game and to me it just didn’t grip me in the slightest, I didn’t really follow it either because it wasn’t engaging enough.  While the developer had written a full story line for Black Sand Drift, I wasn’t emotionally affected as described in the Steam overview section.

Gameplay
Black Sand DriftThe gameplay in Black Sand Drift shows me that the developer put a lot of effort into it all, but it turned into a giant mess somewhere along the way.  I usually like 2D scrolling games like this but I wasn’t able to progress very far, while the tutorial is good at explaining how to play, it doesn’t prepare you for the frustrating difficulty of level 1 – 2.  Once you finally do progress, after enemies flying at you constantly and firing little red and yellow balls at you, you start hoping it gets better as you go, but it didn’t for me.  There are only a few power-ups and they didn’t help much due to so many enemies spamming the screen at such a rate I got dizzy and had to switch off.

Nothing new is thrown in, it feels like the same activity over and over without anything driving me forward, I had to make my own reasons in hoping the experience got better as I went along, but again it fell short.  The controls in Black Sand Drift are very easy to use and smooth, I didn’t experience any issues with them.

Graphics and Sound

I’m going to start off with the audio, the soundtrack shows that obviously, the developer went out and either did the soundtrack himself or got someone else to do it, but it does not compliment the game at all.  The soundtrack just doesn’t make sense being in this game.  Unfortunately, the music included also doesn’t sound good either.  I didn’t understand what was being said in the song, it didn’t give me any emotional feelings and it sounded slightly flat. There is a huge amount of content in Black Sand Drive so despite not having a great time I can definitely say the developers packed a very cheap game with a lot of options for people who may enjoy the title.

Black Sand DriftNow for the graphic design, the menus don’t look very presentable, which is slightly off-putting when entering a game for the first time.  The ship designs are very basic and nothing unique hits me and makes me think, “wow that is pretty cool”.  I love spaceships, I love games with spaceships, but I feel with the amount of effort the developers put into their game, they could have done a much better job.  The level design is also poor unfortunately, the first level is on a yellow planet and there seems to be some sort of grid on it with random pixel blobs as I described them, I don’t know if it’s supposed to look like that or if I am experiencing a bug?  Luckily, though, apart from the few negatives I have listed, the game runs smoothly despite many things happening on screen and it doesn’t need a demanding PC to play.

Verdict

I feel the developer has put a lot of backstory into the game, and with the effort put into the game you can see that they went big, but the game fell completely short of what it could have been.  With some graphic redesigns and a new soundtrack and more variation in the gameplay, I think it could have been a good one.

Black Sand Drift

Black Sand Drift
3

Enjoyment

3/10

    Story

    4/10

      Visual

      2/10

        Audio

        3/10

          Gameplay

          4/10

            Pros

            • Good controls
            • Large game full of content

            Cons

            • Gameplay doesn't keep you hooked
            • Poor soundtrack